Ethical issues in exercise psychology

Jeffrey S. Pauline, Gina A. Pauline, Scott R. Johnson, Kelly M. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Exercise psychology encompasses the disciplines of psychiatry, clinical and counseling psychology, health promotion, and the movement sciences. This emerging field involves diverse mental health issues, theories, and general information related to physical activity and exercise. Numerous research investigations across the past 20 years have shown both physical and psychological benefits from physical activity and exercise. Exercise psychology offers many opportunities for growth while positively influencing the mental and physical health of individuals, communities, and society. However, the exercise psychology literature has not addressed ethical issues or dilemmas faced by mental health professionals providing exercise psychology services. This initial discussion of ethical issues in exercise psychology is an important step in continuing to move the field forward. Specifically, this article will address the emergence of exercise psychology and current health behaviors and offer an overview of ethics and ethical issues, education/training and professional competency, cultural and ethnic diversity, multiple-role relationships and conflicts of interest, dependency issues, confidentiality and recording keeping, and advertisement and self-promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-76
Number of pages16
JournalEthics and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethics
  • Exercise psychology
  • Sport psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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